BOZEMAN — Senior quarterback Jack Keeley ran for one touchdown and passed to Ryan Peoples for another, and cornerback Coy Campbell returned a pass interception for a TD as the Butte Central Maroons registered their first win of the high school football season Friday night.
BC, hampered by injuries much of the season, defeated Livingston 21-14 in a Class A non-conference game played at Montana State University’s Bobcat Stadium.
Butte Central built a 14-0 advantage through three periods and then had to score another TD in the fourth quarter as the Rangers stayed in the game with a pair of late big-play scores.
After a scoreless first frame, the Maroons struck on the 8-yard Keeley-to-Peoples aerial. Jack Nagle kicked the extra point and BC had a 7-0 advantage with 7 minutes, 25 seconds left in the half.
The score remained 7-0 through halftime and then BC opened up a two-touchdown lead at 9:32 of the third quarter. It came from the defense as Campbell picked off Livingston QB Ryan Miller near midfield and returned the theft to the end zone. The play covered 47 yards. Nagle kicked the PAT for the 14-0 Butte Central spread.
The Rangers tightened the score by a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter when Tuck Shepherdson covered a blocked BC punt in the end zone. Paxon Sikkink kicked the extra point.
The Maroons responded with Keeley’s 7-yard carry on a keeper to gain his team a little comfort with only 1:26 left on the clock.
It proved necessary for BC, too, as Miller returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown 13 seconds later.
Butte Central was able to kill the clock and come away with the win.
Keeley finished with 71 yards on 16 keeps, Aidan Ossello had 12 yards on one attempt, Zane Moodry 10 yards on two tries and Justus McGee drew a crowd when he carried, being held to one yard on eight packs.
McGee, though, led the team in receiving with 41 yards on two catches. Peoples had 17 yards on two grabs, including the touchdown, and Moodry had one reception for eight yards.
Keeley connected on four of 15 throws for 29 yards, with a touchdown. Moodry linked with McGee one time for a 37-yard pass.
Lineman Tanner Keith led BC in tackles with 10 while Keeley finished with nine, and Bryce Keane and Tony Stajcar six apiece. Also, McGee, Michael Peck, Canyon Kibler and Ossello each had four, Moodry three, Michael Hand and Campbell two apiece, and John Packard, Nagle, Burkley Lakkala and Kourt Donaldson each made one stop.
Keith and Peck each notched a QB sack. Moodry deflected two passes and McGee knocked away one. Robert McCarthy and Kibler recovered fumbles. Keeley and Campbell each had an interception and Moodry blocked a kick. The Maroons’ defense caught Ranger ballcarriers behind the line three times, twice by Keeley and once by Keith.
Central will host the Dillon Beavers next week before they head to Frenchtown for their final regular season game of the year.
Butte Central 0 7 7 7 — 21
Livingston 0 0 0 14 — 14
BC — Ryan Peoples 8 pass from Jack Keeley (Jack Nagle kick), 7:25.
BC — Coy Campbell 47 pass interception return (Nagle kick), 9:32.
LIV — Tuck Shepherdson recovered blocked Butte Central punt in the end zone (Paxon Sikkink kick), 11:58.
BC — Keeley 7 run (Nagle kick), 1:26.
LIV — Ryan Miller 84 kickoff return (Sikkink kick), 1:13.